Village of Pelham Mayor Mullen describes executive order allowing use of sidewalks, parking areas and public spaces

Editor’s note: This letter was provided by Village of Pelham Mayor Chance Mullen.

Dear neighbors,

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the end of the school year festivities.  This is just a quick note about our downtown businesses.

You may have noticed quite a few diners in our downtown recently.

Last week, I issued an Executive Order allowing restaurants and retail establishments to utilize sidewalks, allowing local restaurants to place picnic tables in public spaces and allowing businesses to create temporary dining spaces in their outdoor parking areas.  While businesses must still contact the Village for approval, we have waived all related fees so that our businesses can get back on their feel as quickly as possible without incurring additional financial burden.

These temporary revisions to our Village Code will allow our local businesses to expand service capacity while still complying with the Governor’s Orders.  Each business faces complicated regulations set by the State for reopening, so the Village put together an informational package for local businesses to help navigate the challenges created by COVID-19.

We are not planning any street closures at this time, although we are working with the Chamber of Commerce to plan a few events throughout the summer on specific days.  Unlike some communities, most of our roads are needed for deliveries, customers visiting from other towns, and for emergency vehicles.  Partially closing a street or allowing tables in streets that still have through-way traffic could create public safety issues that would be difficult to manage.  We are always open to ideas, of course, but for now, we hope that adding dining space on sidewalks, parking areas and parks will be the safest and most sustainable way to add the necessary capacity.

As we continue to experiment with ways to support our downtown, please keep in mind that we are very much in uncharted territory.  We have already seen some potential downsides, like increased trash in Wolfs Lane Park, which we are working to resolve in partnership with participating businesses by adding garbage bins and increasing our cleaning.  I’m sure there will be other hiccups along the way, as well.  Please be patient with us as we continue finding ways to support our businesses who face significant headwinds in this difficult environment.

My sincerest thanks to our Village Clerk Terri Rouke, Village Attorney Ed Smith, Assistant to the Village Administrator Cara Farrell, and our Superintendent of Public Works Joe Senerchia for their incredible work to get this Local Order approved by the State Department of Health and disseminated to local businesses, to Deputy Mayor Potocki and Trustee Hill-Ries for their creativity and to Amy Cole and Clay Bushong at the Chamber of Commerce for their partnership.

We’ve got some great weather on the horizon, so please, continue to stay safe and #shoplocal!


Village of Pelham